Brothers in sexual abuse case appear in court

PERQUIMANS COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) – Six brothers accused of sexually abusing a girl known to them for more than a decade appeared in court Monday morning.

Eric Jackson, the eldest of the Jackson brothers, stopped when WAVY News’ Liz Palka asked the brothers if they had anything to say to the victim.

“I know that you all know that at this time we cannot say anything,” Jackson said. “There may be a point in the future where we can, but at this point until all this legal stuff is done there’s nothing we can say…”

Eric Jackson, photo by WAVY/LaVoy Harrell
Eric Jackson, photo by WAVY/LaVoy Harrell

Photos: Jackson family appears in court

Jackson, his five siblings and his parents have all been charged in connection to the crimes. His parents, Nita and John, are facing child neglect charges in the case.

The parents walked into the courthouse before 9:30 a.m. Nita was smiling. Neither made any statement.

Video: Nita and John Jackson arrive to court

The brothers walked into the courthouse dressed in green and white striped jumpsuits, their hands and feet shackled.

During the hearing, all eight family members asked for a court-appointed attorney. When John Jackson was asked if he understood the charge, he answered, “As best as I can.” Eric Jackson also tried to speak during court. The judge reminded the oldest brother that anything he says can be used against him. Jackson decided not to say anything.

Video: WAVY’s Liz Palka confronts Jackson brothers as they leave court

Perquimans County District Attorney Andrew Womble will prosecute the case. Womble said he cannot discuss the specifics of evidence related to the Jackson parents’ charges.

“At this time they’re only charged with one count of felony child abuse,” Womble said. “Certainly, there’s always a possibility of additional charges.”

Womble also said the case could be tough to prove because it stretches over a long period of time.

“The ability of the witnesses to remember and recollect the evidence is certainly a factor that you take into account,” he said.

Investigators have said the female victim is willing to testify.

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